Lindly Haunani Q & A

lindlyweb.jpgThis is part one of an interview I did last year with Emily Moon-

Q:  How did you first become interested in and get involved in working with polymer clay?

 I became interested in polymer clay in 1988, when a number of things serendipitously led me to take a workshop from Kathleen Dustin. At the time I had a large vegetable/herb garden and was experimenting with different colored inlays of herbs and vegetable purees into handcrafted pasta. One day Id been tempted to buy FIMO after enjoying a display of miniature food at a local doll house store. I bought a piece of polymer clay jewelry at the Smithsonian Museum gift shop that had been made by Steven Ford and David Forlano (they called themselves CITY ZEN CANE-then). I had been taking courses at The Art League School at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria VA for ten years and that fall Kathleen Dustin was offering a workshop on polymer clay bead making. At the time I had no interest in making beads I was fascinated by the material so I signed up (and ended up making about four hundred beads that first week!) 

Q: Do you have an art background? 

I have been an artist all of my life. Many of my earliest memories revolve around the creation of art projects- the challenges, the materials involved and the feelings of satisfaction as they were completed. I majored in art during college at Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh. Originally, I planned to become a metal smith. The actually construction process in metal was so labor intensive- my first necklace took over two hundred hours. For two semesters I designed (very colorful) jewelry on paper and then decided to switch to printmaking as it seemed more appropriate for exploring colorful repeated patterns..  For the next fifteen years (the pre-polymer days!) I continued to explore pattern and color with colored pencils, silk screening and water colors.   

Q; How did the National Polymer Clay Guild get started? 

In 1989 I attended a workshop led by Kathleen Dustin where the participants talked of creating a Sculpey Users club. About nine months later I attended a workshop led by Victoria (Tory) Hughes and there was more talk of a Sculpey Users club…Nan Roche volunteered a mailing list which we mailed out to fifty people and thirty five people showed up for the first organizational meeting. We elected our first board at that meeting and things started rolling. I put together a four page (rubber cement paste-up) newsletter publicizing our new group. The interest was so intense for more information, that the newsletter was photocopied and distributed to others. Within a week there were several long distance members and two weeks later we had out first International members. What started as an enthusiastic local group was almost immediately an International Guild. Pierrette Ashcroft volunteered to work on the newsletter with me. Her computer skills, attention to detail and generosity with her time helped to launch the POLYinforMER as an important source of information to the community. Please remember, back in the old days, we didnt have the internet, email, chat rooms and web-sites. That November at the 2nd International Bead Conference in Washington DC we met more people from around the country that shared our enthusiasm and passion for disseminating information about the relatively new medium of polymer clay.  Our initial mission was to share knowledge freely, educate the public, foster outreach programs and to create exhibition and teaching opportunities for our member while maintaining our sense of wonder surrounding this incredible new artistic medium.. An amazing community of incredibly talented artist came forward to share and volunteer their time to the polymer clay community.  

Q: How did the Shrinemont Retreat get started? 

AKA slumber Party gone wild…Nan Roche and I were planning a slumber party weekend get together when a group she belonged to had to cancel their reservation at  Shrinemont Retreat Center in Virginia. After a few quick phone calls she booked the Crenshaw cabin for the weekend and we publicized the event (hoping we would cover the rental fees).  Q: When did you start teaching Polymer Clay? I started teaching in 1990 when a local bead store asked me if I could lead a polymer clay bead making workshop. Since then I have taught hundreds of workshops in forty-one states ranging from three hour seminars to week long intensives. 

Q: What is your favorite workshop to teach? 

Oh….it would be hard to pick between them, there are so many. I love the wide-eyed joyful wonder of the first time student in the introductory classes. The Healing Artist series at Maureen Carlsons center for the Arts in Minnesota has been challenging and illuminating. Dancing with the Rainbow the introductory color workshop is especially dear to my heart, as mixing, choosing and designing color schemes is so integral to individuals success in being a polymer clay artist.


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Thanks for visiting my blog where you'll find my latest news, class details, and new tips and tricks. You'll find more information about my work at my website. Come back often.

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